Kansas Governor Advocates Solar Energy During GANA Fall Conference
September 3, 2009
You have to understand how much potential there is in solar,
Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson began during his presentation this
morning as part of todays @Glassnation Energy Seminars. Parkinson
pointed out that only about 1 percent of energy used in the U.S.
right now is from solar energy. We havent even begun
to scratch the surface. The amount of solar is so limited in this
country right nowso we have tremendous opportunities.
governor delivered the keynote speech today, the last day of the
Glass Association of North Americas (GANA) Fall Conference,
during a series of energy seminars co-sponsored by Solar Glazing
Magazine. Gov. Parkinson addressed The World Energy Challenge
A Great Opportunity for the United State.
Parkinson began by explaining, I spent the last three years
learning as much as I could about renewable energy and its potential,
and then promoting it. He noted that Kansas is well
suited to renewable energy sources, including both wind and
solar, but was behind in its investments in this area.
Following background on energy usage in this country he provided
some new information on solar energy. He explained that we now have
approximately 1 million megawatts (mW) of power in this country
and less than 10,000 MW are from solar energy. He asked his audience
rhetorically why that might be.
If solar energy is such a great thing ... .how come we dont
have solar panels all over the place? Parkinson asked. The
reason is very simple: solar is very expensive. He noted that
while costs are dropping dramatically, solar energy remains significantly
more expensive than traditional forms of energyand even other
forms of renewable energy. The reason we dont have broad-scale
solar energy right now is cost.
he added that based on current projections from the Department of
Energy, we wont be far off before it is competitive, perhaps
as soon as 2015.
Heres the problem, Parkinson continued. In
order for the cost of solar to decline there has to be a marketplace
for solar energy. There has to be places for the folks attempting
to innovate to sell their products.
To build that marketplace, which he predicted would in turn promote
further research and development, he advocated the federal governments
support of solar energy.
We need some additional engineering breakthroughs
or for some reasons for companies to go out and build solar,
Parkinson said. If in fact were going to continue to
were going to need some help from the federal
government. The price point is simply too high for the free market
to make it on its own.
Upon that point the launched into his avocation for a National
Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), which he noted could be among
the most important sections contained within the cap-and-trade bill
currently waiting to be addressed by the Senate (CLICK
HERE for related story). He noted that Kansas already has in
place an RES, and feels that a national standard would really
catapult renewable energy to the next level.
Parkinson noted, Most people watching [the cap-and-trade
bill] believe it will not pass the Senate. If it fails, he
added, Were encouraging our delegation to work with
delegations around the country and revive just the RES portion of
the current cap-and-trade bill.
He encouraged his audience this morning to contract their Congressional
representatives and encourage their support of a national RES.
Parkinson concluded by commenting on the impact of the recession,
noting the toll it has taken in Kansas. But, he added,
I continue to be an optimist, and there are some very positive
signs that we have either reached the bottom or are starting to
come out of this
things are starting to look up. Parkinson
added that as companies begin to look toward opportunities in the
future, Your industry is extremely well-positioned to look
toward the future.
HERE for more information about Solar Glazing Magazine,
coming in 2010.
Although the GANA Fall Conference concludes today., stay tuned
to USGNN.com for further updates from the meeting.
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